Basketball: Brothers stand out

By Cameron Leslie

Outstanding performances by Muriwhenua basketball brothers Arahi and Atama O'Donnell weren't enough for the win as they combined to score a whopping 60 of their team's 64 points.

Arahi led from the front, top-scoring with 36 points, in a spirited team performance with only five players available as Muriwhenua went down 74-64 to the Royals in their Super 6 showdown.

Despite the O'Donnell brothers' combination, the Royals produced a solid all-round team effort with captain Beau Mackey scoring 18 points.

Niasi Malua's shot selection allowed him to top-score for the Royals, driving the open lane all Saturday to score most times and earn 24 points.

Despite the heart shown by Muriwhenua to stay in touch, they paid for their lack of players as they ran out of puff late in the game after having only been one point adrift at halftime.

Friday's TTT Classic top-of-the-table clash lived up to expectation as Whangaruru Tukaia edged the Portland Flames 46-39.

Portland constantly asked questions of Whangaruru in the close-fought match, with the sides inseparable at the half at 23-25 in favour of Whangaruru.

Reannon Hetaraka-Sadler was a standout performer as she ran the point well, taking control of the game and playing a tough man-on defence. Hetaraka-Sadler combined well with Sian Telfer as she ran the lanes to top-score with 12 points.

Jaimee-lee Tito played well in containing and restricting Hetaraka-Sadler's game, keeping her in single figures while Tito top- scored for Portland with 14 points.

In the weekend's other top-of-the-table clash, the Portland Blazers toppled Super 6 leaders Full Blooded Whangaruru 87-80.

After a reasonable start from Portland, early fouling trouble forced Portland to adjust their structure as Whangaruru's press defence created problems for Portland.

Ray Cameron's guidance, and an offensive restructure, meant Portland were able to find some holes in Whangaruru's defence and led by four at the break.

In the weekend's other Super 6 match, the City Hawks easily disposed of the Maunu Lights 97-60.

In other TTT Classic games on the weekend, Takahiwai took out the Bucks 57-47. Takahiwai controlled the first half to lead 30-17. Top-scorers were the Bucks' Liahona Hebden and Takahiwai's Sue Reed-Thomas, both scoring 19 points.

Muriwhenua and Pipiwai's showdown was postponed until next year.

The Super 6 and TTT Classic takes a break over the summer and returns on January 18.

- Northern Advocate

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